STOURBRIDGE skipper Josh Banks has called on his players to bounce back after a poor performance against fellow promotion chasers Astwood Bank.

The home team’s seven wicket victory over Stour put a big dent in their hopes of promotion, but Banks believes his players will not play as badly again.

He said: “It was not the result we were looking for, definitely not. We have to put our hands up and say we were beaten by the better team on the day.

“We knew going into the game that they were a decent side and we would have to play well to get a good result, but we were flat and couldn’t get anything going.

“It was a flat field and quite a small ground so we knew we would need about 300 runs, but we didn’t bat well, we didn’t bowl well and we event dropped five catches, so in every department we were just not good enough.

“But I said to the lads after the game that we’ve had a great first half to the season and we need to be able to bounce back. We won’t play as bad as that again.”

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Stour went past the double hundred thanks to opener Harshad Patel (48), and eighth wicket of 71 off 60 balls between Jade Richter (59) and Jitesh Jivan-Patel (30 n/o).

Stour made a useful start with a run rate of five runs an over but the introduction of Jake Price saw the run rate dip to three. His first spell of six overs cost just two runs with a wicket. Rickter and Jivan-Patel's knocks upped the rate to 4.3, with Price's 11 over spell costing 19 runs.

The visitors put Bank under pressure taking the wickets of opener Alex Robinson (4) run out, Tom Pedley (11) LBW to Rickter and the prolific Sam Thomas (18) bowled by Richter.

The third wicket fell on 88 in the 18th over. Skipper Steve Adshead and number four Tom Underhill batted through to victory both scoring hundred each.

Innings that contained 25 fours and eight sixes where assisted by a short boundary and a slope, but Astwood Bank made the most of five dropped catches courtesy of Stour’s poor fielding.

At the half way point of the season, the result has also changed the make-up of the Birmingham and District League Division Three. Stour slip down to fourth and Astwood zoom up into first spot with a 13 point margin.

Stour will host third-place Streetly at the War Memorial Ground this Saturday (noon start).

Banks added: “I wouldn’t say it is must win game. I don’t think any game is must-win at this stage of the season, but we definitely need to show that last week was a one-off.

“We’ve already beaten them away earlier in the season, so that will give us confidence to come back home, put a poor performance behind us and get back to winning ways.”